Having a chef as a friend comes with perks. For example, Boston chef Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park, the Butcher Shop and Sportello recently gave pointers to two friends—Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg—who were hoping to make their healthy weeknight recipes more delicious. Both are excellent home cooks who, as the founders of Fresh beauty, use superfoods like mangosteen and açai in their company’s lotions and creams. Lynch, an F&W Best New Chef 1996, transformed their favorite dishes with a few simple tricks from her cookbook Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition.
The couple loves grilling branzino on the bone, so Lynch suggested they stuff the flaky fish with lemon and herbs to add bright flavor. They also eat lots of salads, so Lynch gave them a recipe for shaved vegetables tossed with olive oil and vinegar until slightly pickled. And because Glazman and Roytberg often have fresh berries for dessert, Lynch suggested they pair the fruit with fat-free meringues gently spiced with cumin—one of her four Cs. (See sidebar.)
“I’m always dieting, and my secrets are cardamom, cumin, cayenne and coriander,” Lynch says.